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Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Voluntary Furlough Questions and Answers

Date: March 28, 2011
Type: AFA Article

1. May I bid for this Voluntary Furlough if I’m currently on Voluntary Furlough status?

If you are currently on Voluntary Furlough with a return date of May 2, 2011, you are eligible to bid and be awarded the Furlough.  You will not be required to fly in May and the company has agreed to bridge the time period between your return date and the new Furlough.

If you are currently on Voluntary Furlough with a return date of July 1, 2011, you are eligible to bid for and be awarded this Furlough.  The bid and award process will be completed by April 26, in advance of any return to work activity required for a July 1 return.

If you are currently on Voluntary Furlough with a return date of March 2, 2012, you are not eligible to be awarded this Furlough.  You will remain on your current Voluntary Furlough status and return on your originally scheduled date of March 2, 2012.

2. Will there be a recall and rebid of existing Voluntary Furloughs?

No.  The 400 Voluntary Furlough’s offered now are in addition to existing Voluntary Furloughs. No rebid or recall is required.

3. If I am a Partnership Program participant, can I bid for this Voluntary Furlough?

If you are currently scheduled as part of the Partnership Program you are eligible to bid for and be awarded this Furlough.  A furlough awarded to one or both of the partners will terminate the Partnership.

4. If I am a Voluntary Furloughed Flight Attendant, will I be able to return prior to the expiration of the furlough period?

A Voluntary Furloughed Flight Attendant will only be allowed to return prior to the expiration of the Furlough period for personal reasons due to hardship, with the approval of the company. 

5. If I am Voluntarily Furloughed, am I subjecting myself to surplus to a domicile other than the one from which I accepted the Voluntary Furlough?

Section 21.A.3.e. of the AFA Agreement provides you with the Contractual right to be returned to the domicile from which you were Voluntarily Furloughed.  The only exceptions to this preferential right would be if the was closed or if a surplus has been declared in the domicile and your seniority status is affected by the surplus action.

6. Will United contest unemployment for Voluntary Furloughs?

No.  Check with your local unemployment office for your specific unemployment benefits.  http://www.doleta.gov

7. May I bid for the Voluntary Furlough if I am on Sick Leave status?

If you are on Sick Leave status, you are eligible to bid for and be awarded the Voluntary Furlough provided you come of Sick Leave (OFSL) status prior to the effective date of the Furlough.  Flight Attendants on Sick Leave on June 1, 2011 will not be placed on Voluntary Furlough status.

8. May I bid for the Voluntary Furlough if I am on Medical Leave status?

If you are on any type of Medical Leave status on the date bids close for Voluntary Furlough, you are eligible to bid for and be awarded the Voluntary Furlough provided medical clearance with a return to work date prior to May 31st is received and approved by United Medical by 1700 CST on April 22, 2011.

9. May I bid for the Voluntary Furlough if I am on Extended Illness status?

If you are on Extended Illness status (and being paid from your Sick Leave bank), you are eligible to bid for and be awarded the Voluntary Furlough provided medical clearance with a return to work date prior to May 31, 2011 is received and approved by United Medical by 1700 CST on April 22, 2011.

10. May I bid for the Voluntary Furlough if I am on Occupational Leave?

Your doctor must provide written documentation that must be received and approved by Company Medical no later than 1700 Central Time on April 24th.  The documentation must state that you will be cleared to fly before June 1, 2011 in order to be eligible to bid the Voluntary Furlough.

11. May I bid for the Voluntary Furlough if I am on Maternity Leave?

This answer depends upon your maternity status:

  • Any Flight Attendant within the 1st and 31st week of being pregnant on the April 25th Voluntary Furlough bidding close date, and on an S-3 status (intermittent Maternity Leave), is eligible to bid for Voluntary Furlough.
  • Any Flight Attendant within the 1st and 31st week of being pregnant on the April 25th Voluntary Furlough bidding close date, and on an L-3 status (Maternity Leave), must provide written clearance to fly from her doctor by April 22th at 1700 Central Time to be eligible to bid for Voluntary Furlough.  This clearance must also be received and approved by company Medical by April 22th at 1700 Central Time.  The clearance does not mean that the Flight Attendant must fly -- it only means that the Flight Attendant can fly.
  • A Flight Attendant who has had her baby prior to the close of Voluntary Furlough bids, is eligible to bid for the Voluntary Furlough if documentation is received and approved by United Medical prior to 1700 Central Time on April 22th indicating she has clearance to fly no later than May 31, 2011.

12. May I bid for the Voluntary Furlough if I am on FMLA?

If you have an intermittent Family Medical Leave status, you are eligible to bid for the Voluntary Furlough.  You must come off Sick Leave (OFSL) before June 1, 2011 in order to be placed on Voluntary Furlough status. 

If you are on continuous Family Medical Leave you are eligible to bid and will be awarded the Voluntary Furlough provide medical clearance with a return to work date prior to June 1, 2011 is received and approved by United Medical by 1700 Central Time on May 30th. 

13. Do I pay Union dues while on Voluntary Furlough?

The AFA Constitution and Bylaws requires that all Flight Attendants pay dues for the first 3 months of any Leave status, including Voluntary Furlough.  Flight Attendants should contact the Local AFA Council with any questions about payment methods. If you would like to pay your dues beyond the required first three months to remain an active Member to vote, please contact the AFA International Office Membership Department at 1-800-424-2401, ext. 708 to receive the form for monthly deductions taken out of your checking account.  You will also need to ask the Membership Department where you should fax or send a written and signed statement saying that you would like to “leave and remain active.”  You to not need to pay dues beyond the three-month period to participate in the upcoming Flight Attendant Representation vote process; all Flight Attendants on the seniority list, regardless of status are eligible to vote in the election process.

14. Can I retire from Voluntary Furlough?

Yes.

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